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KHU shift focus to 2021 with Premier, Super and Nationwide leagues fate hanging in balance

HOCKEY By Washington Onyango | November 18th 2020
Vivian Onyango of Lakers (R) tussles for the ball against Strathmore University's Cynthia Achieng during a Premier League match in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango/Standard]

The Kenya Hockey Union is shifting its attention to 2021 calendar in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has resulted to the loss of the 2020 season.

KHU was forced to suspend the one-week-old league back in March league as Kenya battled the coronavirus pandemic.

The KHU Premier League, Super League and Nationwide League were affected by the pandemic which would all by now be at the final stages.

Attempts by the union to resume contact sports have been so far halted by the government which has since remained firm on not allowing resumption of sports due to the rising number of cases in the second wave of the virus.

This has forced the union to rethink ways of coming up with a solution for the already ending season which has six weeks left.

Speaking to the Standard Sports, KHU boss Nahashon Randiek said the local league which was halted in March cannot be restarted.

Randiek said that it will be impossible to start and finish the leagues with the remaining time to next year hence the need to shift focus to the new term, 2021.

 “We are six weeks to 2021 and there is no way we can commence and conclude the league in less than two months. We are now thinking about the new league in 2021,” he said.

Strathmore University's Ruth Adhiambo in action during Kenya Hockey Women Premier League match against Lakers in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango/Standard]

Hockey being among the contact sports that have not received green light from the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health to resume play, Randiek said they have already developed protocols for safe resumption and are awaiting a go ahead from the government.

“We are ready for action. All that is reaming is for the government to give us a goa ahead which we have been waiting for two months,” said Randiek.

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Nevertheless, the KHU boss explained that they are weighing up the option of having ta knockout tournament to maximize the time lost once they are given a clean bill of health.

“We will have tournaments played in formats that are in order and which will comply with the protocols set by the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Butali Sugar Warriors and Blazers were crowned last year’s men and women KHU Premier League champions respectively.

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